The tribunal probing the conduct of suspended Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission commissioner Irene Masit that was scheduled to resume on Thursday for oral submissions has been pushed further by a week.
The tribunal’s joint secretary on Tuesday announced the postponement of resumption of oral submissions from February 9, to 20 at 10am
“Take notice that whereas the matter was scheduled for highlighting of submissions on February 9, the tribunal has directed that the matter be scheduled for highlighting of submissions on February 20 at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Desai Road, off Murang’a Road, Nairobi at 10:00 am,” the tribunal’s joint secretaries said in a notice shared on Tuesday.
The tribunal led by Justice Aggrey Muchelule wrapped up the hearing of witness testimonies on January 24 after former IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati testified. Masit’s lawyer Donald Kipkorir indicated that his client did not wish to present any witness.
Just like Chebukati the other three commissioners that have since retired Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye told the tribunal of attempts to coerce them into altering the presidential results to declare Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga as the winner.
They narrated how two meetings were held at Bomas and pushed for a runoff if Raila couldn’t be declared as the outright winner of the August 2022 presidential election.
The commissioners revealed that the first visit was by the former Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, former Busia Senator Amos Wako and a lawyer Kyalo Mbopu who sought their audience on behalf of Azimio in the wee hours of August 15, 2022 the day results of the presidential election were announced
"The first to speak was Senator Amos Wako who said we shouldn’t operate in a vacuum," Chebukati said.
The former IEBC Chairman testified that Tuju offered the commissioners a reward should their request to alter the results in favour of Raila be fulfilled.
Chebukati said he asked the other commissioners what their take on the proposal was and commissioner Masit was in favour of the moderation of results.
"Commissioner Masit alongside the others said that the message requires serious deliberation and supported the adoption of the communication to be considered before making a decision on the results to be announced," he told the tribunal
The commissioners were also visited by the National Security Advisory Committee led by former Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Vice Chief of Staff Lt General Francis Ogolla Principal Administrative Secretary in the Office of President Kennedy Kihara and Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto
Chebukati said the team tried to convince them that there was likely to be violent should William Ruto be declared President-elect
"The message was that if I declared the final election results in favour of William Ruto, as president-elect, the country is going to burn," he said
"We were told that there were already skirmishes that had started with Kikuyus and Luos already fighting in several slums like Kibra and Mathare," he added.
Following the conclusion of the hearings, the Muchelule led tribunal was expected to resume on Thursday to highlight key issues by lawyers of both parties on why their arguments on the case should be considered.
Lawyer Kipkorir was expected to make his final submissions on why his client, Masit is innocent and should retain her position at the commission whereas the tribunal led by senior counsel Peter Murage was to make oral submissions on why she is guilty of the charges leveled against her.
Once oral submissions end the tribunal will retreat to write their report that is to be forwarded to president William Ruto with recommendations on whether Masit is guilty or not.